Sam Bentall, Health Coach, explains how even in lockdown you can improve your health and wellbeing through simple, tiny changes.
Are you feeling frazzled by your day-to-day routine during lockdown?
Working, home-schooling, and keeping on top of everyday chores can seem overwhelming. When we’re already spinning more plates than we can handle, how are we supposed to fit in time to look after our own health and wellbeing?
That’s where micro-changes come in. Research has shown that making smaller changes to our routine is actually more beneficial than attempting large scale overhauls. This is because, the amygdala (the part of our brains responsible for activating the fight or flight response) treats drastic change as a threat and activates stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin.
Making smaller changes helps the brain to adapt faster as there is less of a threat. In his book Atomic Changes, James Clear writes: “When making plans, think big, when making progress, think small.” And progress is the key to success; it’s far more encouraging to focus on the trajectory to a healthier lifestyle, than to focus on the goal which can seem a long way away.
So here are five micro-changes you can try. You don’t have to do them all, just pick one and move onto the second once the first has become an ingrained habit.
1) Drink more water
Buy a water bottle and fill it up every morning.
Write a sticky note and put it on the fridge to remind you.
Keep your water bottle on your desk.
2) Commit to meditating for 10 minutes every day for one week
Choose a time to meditate. It could be first thing in the morning or lunchtime.
Download an app if you’re new to meditation.
Pick a ten-minute guided meditation or set a timer for 10 minutes.
Keep a journal so that you can reflect on how the meditation makes you feel.
3) Go for a 10-minute walk at lunchtime
Put it in your diary – you’re more likely to stick to it if you write it down.
Plan your route in advance.
Find or buy comfortable footwear and keep them in a handy place.
Have a ‘bad weather plan’. Could you march on the spot or climb put and down the stairs instead?
4) Plan your lunch
Planning your lunch means you don’t have to rely on decision making and willpower.
Make your lunch in the morning and keep it in the fridge. (Behave as though you are taking lunch into your office – even if you are working from home.)
Decide what time you will eat and put it in your dairy – this will help you to avoid grazing.
In winter, batch cook soups so that you can have a healthy hot meal at lunchtime.
5) Start the day with a green smoothie
Try this recipe:
A handful of kale or spinach, a lump of cucumber, 2 celery stalks, ½ avocado, ginger, apple juice.
Sam Bentall, Health Coach
If you would like help implementing changes to your health and wellbeing, you can drop me a line, I’m always happy to help. Email: email@example.com